A Winning Work Ethic? It’s Not What I see, Coach Granato.

Ok, at first I was going to do a video rant about last nite and ask twitterville to make it viral, but I decided against it.  So,  I waited 24 hours after the debacle so that I could cool down and not say something I’d be sorry for.

I wouldn’t be so ticked about the loss to Milwaukee (Ok, maybe I would be) if I didn’t read the article entitled “Work Ethic” in the new, Breakaway magazine (which is a great idea and looks great!).

You see, the article is about Head Coach, Don Granato and discusses his philosophy.

“My coaching philosophy is simple: it is based solely on work ethic, and this team has proven day in and day out that the philosophy works.”

Ooookay, now it’s clear someone doesn’t see what I (and others!) see. 

This Wolves team is only three games above .500 and 3 points out of the final playoff spot, tied for 5th place with Iowa only 2 points ahead of Quad Cities.  In the worst case, but still realistic scenario, the Wolves could finish in 7th(!!!) place.  

Is this indicative of a work ethic that is good? 

If so, your standards are waay too low, Coach.

Call us Wolves fans spoiled, but I see sloppy play and failures to clear the puck at the blue lines; I see missed assignments and poor shot choices;  I see a penalty kill that gets more scoring chances than equal strength and definitely more than the power play.

Why is that Coach? 

You said, “We have an amazing amount of talent on this team, be we have to stay focused on our work ethic.  Each game, we need to step on the ice and play with wit and determination. When we do that, our skill shines through.”

Whose job is it to keep the players focused, Coach?

You said, “I think this team has struggled to find its identity since day one. I wold even say we were reluctant to find our identity for the first 40 games of the season.  The season has continued to progress and so have our efforts in finding our true character.  Lately, the players have really come together and focused, and it shows.”


Let me just ask you this:

Whose responsibility is it to help forge the team identity? Whose job is it to bring the best out of the players, to get players into the roles that they are most productive in, to help create  the Esprit d’Corps that empowers a team to become greater than the sum of its parts?

It’s your responsibility Coach.

Herb Brooks is reported to have said, “You’re playing worse and worse every day and right now you’re playing like it’s next month.”

That is what we’re seeing Coach.  We’re seeing a Wolves team that instead of constantly improving, limped to a 4-8 record during the all important month of March! 

This team still hasn’t found an identity coach.  This team still has trouble knowing how to win consistently, but unfortunately knows all too well how to slip into funks and play poorly.

This team is showing signs of unceremoniously self-destructing Coach.  Brett Sterling can’t play a game anymore without taking a penalty for some excessive use of force.  Ondre Pavelec has progressively been over-reacting to shots (probably induced by the fact that he’s facing 35+ shots per game and losing confidence in those in front of him to step up and score goals so he’s trying to do more than he should.)  And, apparently few younger players seem impressed (or ashamed) at  being out-hustled by a 37 year old Steve Martins.

It’s not just about hard work Coach.  Undisciplined, unharnessed hard work is basically chaos.  It’s two-people-pushing-with-all-their-might-on-opposing-sides-of-a-swinging-door type of work we’re seeing, Coach.

Ultimately hockey is about passion, about pride, about  a bunch of guys coming together bonding into something greater than themselves.

Herb Brooks also said, “Great moments are born from great opportunities.”

There is a great opportunity waiting to be seized by the Wolves.  Wolves fans can only hope that somehow, something clicks and this team rises to the occasion; that somehow you, Coach Granato, will inspire something in your team to ignite a furious and ferocious playoff run.

I guess I’m hoping for another Miracle on Ice….

Explore posts in the same categories: AHL, Calder Cup, character, Chicago Wolves, Coaching, Don Granato, hockey, Playoffs

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